A strong quarter of gold production sends Egyptian miner Centamin (CEY) up 1.9% to 45.86p. Although the 84,757 ounces is 9% less than the previous three months' output, that's likely to be a result of lower grade material being mined. What's really pleased the market is that Centamin has achieved three consecutive quarters of beating its 5 million tonnes per year nameplate capacity at its processing plant. The company's efforts to look beyond Egypt continue to take shape with strategic positions in several junior miners. One of them is Nyota Minerals (NYO:AIM) with interests in Ethiopia. While its shares are suspended pending financial issues, Centamin's plans to have a greater influence over Nyota take a step forward today with a date for the junior's shareholders to vote on removing chief executive officer Richard Chase. Centamin wants the boss replaced and will know the outcome on 15 November when shareholders are called to vote.
Rugged displays manufacturer Zytronic (ZYT:AIM) says it will beat full-year forecasts to September 2013 thanks to improved trading performance. This news sparked an 11% jump to 181p and the running Shares Play of the Week over 18% in paper profit. We've taken a closer look at the situation here.
Bakery retailer Greggs (GRG) rises 2.5% to 438p as investors welcome improving like-for-like trends. A 0.5% same-store sales decline for the third quarter tempts bulls as the food retailer’s strategy initiatives under CEO Roger Whiteside show encouraging signs. Read our analysis of today's announcement.
Plus size fashion retailer N Brown (BWNG) eases off 3.5p to 525p despite delivering strong half-year figures. The £1.5 billion cap grew profits 7.1% to £45 million on sales up 8% to £409.6 million in the half to 31 August, with younger brands Jacamo and Simply Be as well as increasing internet penetration driving top line growth. A running Shares Play of the Week, N Brown also flags a good start to the second half with like-for-like sales 8% ahead in the five weeks to 5 October and confirms plans to roll out its Simply Be/Jacamo store portfolio in the UK.
Investors are back chasing insurance claims outsourcing specialist Quindell Portfolio (QPP:AIM) after a landmark £150 million three-year outsourcing agreement with Direct Line (DLG), the UK's biggest general insurer. Quindell jumps over 10% to 16p, having softened over the past week or so, likely due to profit taking (the shares have rallied over 40% in two months) and possibly on drip-fed sales by three institutions after the recent Nationwide Accident Repair Services (NARS:AIM) deal. Quindell also reveals £300 million worth of organic revenue growth. Shares flagged an impending contracts bonanza last month, and an interview with chairman and founder Rob Terry is featured in tomorrow's issue of the magazine.
Oil services firm Wood (WG.) advances 1.4% to 773p on news of a $1 billion tie-up with German industrials giant Siemens (SI:DE). The joint venture will look to provide an enhanced offering in the gas turbine space.
It is odd to see non-life insurer Abbey Protection (ABB:AIM) recommend a takeover offer at less than yesterday's share price. Markel is paying 115p cash per share, yet Abbey's stock last night closed at 119.75p. Markel says it won't increase the price.
Optos (OPTS) rises 0.7% to 153.25p after winning its first corporate sales order for the Daytona retinal imaging devices. American eye car services provider HVHC is taking 100 units for its Visionworks stores. Optos also says earnings before one-off items are in line with consensus forecasts.
Services exchange platform business Blur (BLUR:AIM) falls nearly 7.5% to 427.5p as chief executive and founder Philip Letts forewarns he plans to sell stock. A 900,000 share slug is flagged, worth roughly £3.8 million at the current price, aimed to help Letts rebalance his personal assets. It's worth noting that this is his first share sale, he refused at the IPO in October 2012, and he'll retain a 47.6% stake in the business. This follows yesterday's outstanding third quarter key performance indicators showing a rapidly-accelerating business model.
A running Shares Play of the Week, miner-to-investor Stratex International (STI:AIM) jumps 5.8% to 4.63p after saying it will invest up to C$1.7 million for 10.3% of Toronto-listed Tembo Gold (TEM:TSXV). It wants to help Tembo speed up work to get a resource on a gold prospect in Tanzania next to African Barrick Gold's (ABG) Bulyanhulu mine.
Chocolatier Thorntons (THT) sheds a penny at 93.5p after a strong run. In a reassuring first quarter update, Thorntons announces total sales up 2.1% to £47 million in the 14 weeks to 5 October, driven by healthy growth in a fast moving consumer goods division.
South East Asia oil explorer Salamander Energy (SMDR) ticks up 1% to 102p as it commences drilling the West Kerendan-1 exploration well in Indonesia. Investors will hoping for success after a disappointing run of drilling results which have seen the shares fall 46% year-to-date. We last looked at the investment case here.